I Always Feel Like... Somebody's Watching Me!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Nightmares in Real Estate

Disclaimer: I know there are good, honest real estate agents out there, I just haven't worked with any yet.

Here are two things you don't want to hear from a real estate agent,

1. "This is just how things go."
2. "I'm not making very much money off of this."

 How's that for professionalism? When it comes to the sale, purchase or rental of your most valuable possession it isn't very heartwarming to hear that your agent doesn't really care what happens. Because that's what the second statement means to me. To have the nerve to tell me (as a client) that you aren't making enough money off the transaction, they might as well say, "I'm putting little to no effort into this."

But anyways, my angst goes back to the first agent we used when purchasing our house in Leetsdale four years ago. It was only the third property we looked at and worked with this agent only by chance. I won't mention her name, but even if I did, I don't think she'd ever understand how it ended up on the world wide web. She wasn't very savvy. Let's call her Pepper Lazypants. She showed us a crap house in Bellevue and mentioned that we were looking to stay close to the Sewickley area. Ms. Lazypants then happened upon our house as a foreclosure and showed us the property.

We loved it immediately.We won the bidding war and set out to have the house inspected. It turned out that the house didn't meet Leetsdale occupancy codes and needed a few handrails, etc. in order to be sold. Ms. Lazypants tried to make us pay for the changes. It's a good thing we aren't gullible idiots (at least all of the time) and called her out on it. Every step of the way, she tried to take advantage of the fact that we were first-time homebuyers. Every question we had was answered with, "This is just how things go." In reality, she just didn't know the answer and was too inept to figure it out.

 After a little bit of time, we realized that she was going to be absolutely no help at all and proceeded to deal with everything ourselves. I remember the night that Gregory and I were buying our stove for the house and he finally yelled at her on the phone, saying, "It's about time you did one thing for us!". I should have known what a dunce she was when she couldn't even find the property the first time we looked at it. She was blindly driving around Sewickley looking for our house on the other Broad Street. At the signing she tried to make a joke out of it (me sitting in the car with a newborn for 30 minutes while waiting for her is never a joke), I stung her with a "that's why they have zip codes!" comment.

But in the end, it worked out for us. I don't know if Ms. Lazypants made her $20 off the sale of the property; I would hope that she is not still employed in the industry. We got a great deal and didn't let her take advantage of the situation.

Four years go by and we have to move. Rent or sell? We opted to rent because we want to know the Buffalo area better before buying our home here.

Renting seemed like a good option because one ad on craigslist generated about thirty responses within a few days. Hiring the management company, though? NOT a good option, we are now finding out. Again, I won't name names - but Pittsburgh has about one option in personal property management, you can narrow it down.

Basically, I think we are in the same situation again. Either this guy is an outright liar or just doesn't know what he is doing. Everything he says then suddenly turns out to be false. And I'm tired of dealing with dishonest, lazy people. We even got the classic line, "I'm working for free right now". Really? Do you think I care?


  1. How frustrating! We had an incredible home-buying experience, so I think we were lucky. We found our real estate agent by looking up certified HUD dealers. Although we didn't buy a HUD home, she was easy to work with because she understood relatively "poor" people. I can't offer any suggestions for the property management agency. I don't think I have ever heard of anyone having a great property management experience. Good luck!

  2. I'm sorry to here this, and to boot I just joined the Howard Hanna office in Sewickley! But you are right, people can be lazy and misguided in what they do and that gives the industry a bad name sometimes. But there are people out there who know what they are doing and if they don't, they ask! And in reguarding to what they know has "ALOT" to do with TRAINING!! Some never get hands on training, nor do they surround themselves with agents that have mastered their craft and are sucuessful! I must say we are very successful at our office and I am so lucky to be there! There is too much to learn not to have gone through extensive training.... and there is where you will find your disconnect and can sort the good ones from the not so good ones! Shop your agents! It's one of the biggest transactions you will ever make, so make sure they are qualified and posess a go getting attitude to do what it takes! There is someone out there that you would be in good hands with! I'm open for business! - A. Baker